Game 52: Super start to Canadiens’ weekend

Canadiens’ Michael Ryder takes exception to Blake Comeau’s hit-from-behind of Habs’ Christopher Higgins. The latter escaped injury on a scary-looking play, and both Ryder and Comeau drew minor penalties for this exchange.
André Ringuette, NHLI via Getty Images

Lineups | Preview | Game Story | Game Summary | Event Summary | Boxscore | Boone

The Canadiens’ Super Bowl weekend is off to a super start, thanks to their reinvigorated life at the Bell Centre.

Goals by Tomas Plekanec, Mark Streit, Alex Kovalev and Mathieu Dandenault lifted the Habs to a 4-1 victory this afternoon over the New York Islanders in the first of the Canadiens’ two weekend home-ice matinées.

Goalie Cristobal Huet, playing his 11th consecutive game, made 29 saves to earn his 19th victory of the season, tying his career-best for wins. He iced it with a daring rush to his blue line in the game’s final minute to foil an Islanders breakaway.

A tepid 6-7-4 at home in mid-December, the Habs are now a strong 5-1-1 at the Bell Centre in 2008. They’ll hope to make that 6-1-1 Sunday afternoon when the New York Rangers pay a 2 p.m. visit.

Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro made a huge difference early in today’s first period, foiling three Canadiens power plays and making a number of fine saves. The teams were even with nine shots each through the first 20 minutes; the Islanders blocked nine more to the Canadiens’ three, giving Montreal an edge in the play.

Forward Christopher Higgins avoided what could have been a serious injury at 16:40, driven head-first into the corner boards by New York’s Blake Comeau. The Islander and Habs’ Michael Ryder, who rallied to the fallen Higgins’s defence, drew minor penalties for the incident.

Montreal killed a frantic, minute-long 5-on-3 disadvantage in the late stages, both Tomas Plekanec and Mike Komisarek in the penalty box.

Plekanec got the Canadiens onto the scoresheet first, with Komisarek still off, 37 seconds into the second period. Alex Kovalev intercepted a blue-line pass by captain Bill Guerin to break out with Plekanec, craftily dropping the puck through his legs to his linemate who closed tighter and whipped a shot past DiPietro for his 17th goal of the season.

Comeau tied it up at 5:01, slipped a shot beneath Huet on a 2-on-1 pass from Miro Satan. Returning Canadiens defenceman Patrice Brisebois had given the puck away just inside the Islanders blue line, leaving Roman Hamrlik the sole defender back.

The Canadiens pulled back in front on the power play, Mark Streit scoring his eighth on a perfect through-the-defender’s-skates pass from Saku Koivu at 7:32. Trent Hunter was off for tripping Brisebois.

Then Kovalev bagged his 23rd on a New York turnover, lacing a shot through the skates of in-reverse Islanders defenceman Andy Sutton and DiPietro at 12:35.

The Islanders outshot Montreal 10-8 in the second period.

Mathieu Dandenault, returning to the lineup after having spent the past four games as a healthy scratch in the press box, finished off the scoring at 17:21 of the third on a pretty, patient pass from Streit.

Montreal outshot the Islanders 32-30.


  1. idle says:

    Well said Ian

  2. Da Hema says:

    He sure is….
    “The worst day of fishing beats the best day of working.”
    –Martin Crane, “Frasier”

  3. ebk says:

    I’ll take your word that there are worse announcers out there than her. She was a good hockey player, though.

    Millen is a piece of work,isn’t he

  4. Da Hema says:

    Come on ebk, “one of the worst?” I have NHL Centre Ice, so I have seen and heard all the commentators in North America, and I can tell you with utmost confidence that the only broadcasters who warrants such a judgment are Greg Millen and Harry Neale (who gratefully now squeels for Buffalo’s local broadcast). As for Cassie Campbell, please remember she and the other women on our national team are heroes for spanking the US and taking home the gold. What the hell did Greg Millen ever do?
    “The worst day of fishing beats the best day of working.”
    –Martin Crane, “Frasier”

  5. Da Hema says:

    Jim Hughson and Kelly Hrudey are consummate professionals, but pretty much everyone else on CBC should be replaced. I frankly cannot understand how Greg Millen was able to get the colour commentary job. I guess, like Harry Neale, he successfully “flattered” some bozo CBC executive. We should see more of Cassie Campbell–she is a great deal more insightful than Millen, and substantially more pleasing to the eyes.
    “The worst day of fishing beats the best day of working.”
    –Martin Crane, “Frasier”

  6. Habster101 says:

    depth yes, and thats what Carbo uses him for, he’s not used as a regular , he’s in and out of the lineup…

    plus I still have to say that he has heart and passion for this team and franchise, being from Montreal, he played a role in the “ROcket” movie…lol

    give the some slack, hes a HAB

  7. nightmare_49 says:

    Some people never learn.

  8. Shan says:

    Yes. ReHab indeed.

  9. Hoegarden says:

    ??? I believe you meant Kelly Hrudey !

    His comment about the Habs slowing down trying to sit on our 3 – 1 lead was spot on. Isles score a second goal and it’s a new game.

    LOL on his mentioning that the Ole-Ole started in the first period when he played the Habs.

    Great analyst, great sense of humour and is not afraid to praise our Habs when they deserve it, unlike some of the planet Taranna crowd.

  10. habsgod says:

    this was an unbelievable game!65 points 3 back of ottawa and tied for 3 overall in the whole league!!!those idiot experts who perdicted that this team would finish out of the playoffs!!stick with your make me laffs in toronto!because you guys clearly don’t know your hockey!!especially that big mouthed idiot glen (i took to many pucks in the head) healy he is the biggest critc of this team and i bet it bugs him that our canadiens are miles,and miles ahead,and better than his make me laffs!!even our own pierre macguire is changing his tune and opinion on this team!!i think we are one forward away from going to the conference finals!!and we will!huet you deserve a ton of credit for this team!!alex kovalev is our player of the year. i love komisarek on the defence!i will say this here. and let`s lobby the writers to vote for guy carbonneau for coach of the year!the kostitsyn are awesome,plekanec you are an awesome player that is going to get better and better!mark streit is our unsung hero!and will get a good contract and a raise from us!brisebois thank-god only has this year on his contract.Get o`byrne back in there and quickly!

  11. Da Hema says:

    Fair reply Habster. I look at Dandenault’s team-worst plus-minus and see a player who is a liability. I cannot agree with you that he works his heart out. He doesn’t hit and has a poor shot for a forward. However, depth is good as you note.
    “The worst day of fishing beats the best day of working.”
    –Martin Crane, “Frasier”

  12. andrethewebguy says:

    I agree with the others: Brisebois was just not into it. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but his play on the first goal was brutal. Forget the giveaway (if you can!), he could have stopped the pass to Comeau with a dive… We know that Komi, Streit, MArkov, even Bouillon would have!


  13. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Should we pull for the Leafs against the Sens tonight? On second thoughts, Go Sens because I can’t stomach Toronto. Forgive me for even suggesting it.

  14. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Right on Pierre McGuire.

  15. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I couldn’t believe Greg Millen. He was full of compliments. May be he has finally admitted himself to rehab.

  16. Habster101 says:

    I agree with you on everything you said except, I have no problem with Dandy…..he fits in well with this team, plays his heart out, and gives us that extra depth that we have over the rest of the conference….

    Higgins was good today except for that chance he had and couldn’t score but… if he keeps playing the way he did today, those chances will start going in…

    I’ll give him a pass on that miss for now…

  17. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Thank God for the face-shield. It definitely prevented a major injury.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.